Bids are due Jan. 21 for Solar Microgrid on Wisconsin Island

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LaPointe, Wisconsin is seeking proposals for an 18-kW expandable solar microgrid to supply power to a library and health clinic.

Bids must be delivered by 4 p.m., Jan. 21, to the town clerk.

LaPointe’s alternative energy committee hopes to eventually replace all of the island’s traditional energy with local, sustainable, renewables. The solar microgrid is part of a larger effort to bring solar to the town, which is located on Madeline Island in Lake Superior’s western end. The island’s population ranges from 220 in the winter to 2,500 in the summer.  Xcel Energy is the local utility.

The request for proposals (RFP) seeks a contractor to design, fabricate, deliver and install the net metered project. The contractor also must secure all permits and approvals from government agencies.

The solar microgrid will be designed to accommodate energy storage in the future, and the possible addition of more solar panels that will boost capacity by 16-18 kW. The additional capacity will serve a nearby school.

The project is funded in part by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, State Energy Office.  Funds for the project must be spent by May 2016.

In choosing a bid winner, the town will consider the firm’s qualifications, ability to complete the project on deadline, project cost, and equipment selection.

The town specified the equipment that it is particularly interested in using. This includes collectors from Sun Power, Solar World, Sunpreme Bifacial and tenKsolar and inverters from Fronius, Xantrex, Outback, SolarEdge and Tabuchi. It also cited a preference for manually adjustable solar racking.

The project also should offer:

  • Ease of maintenance
  • Efficient operation
  • Low operating losses
  • Secured location and hardware
  • Compatibility with existing facilities
  • Visual harmony

Proposal forms, including specifications, may be obtained from the Town Clerk, 715-747-6913,,, or at the La Pointe Town Hall. The RFP is available through the town’s alternative energy subcommittee.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.